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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 82436 Find in a Library
Title: Starton E Samenow - Clinical Research Psychologist - St Elizabeth's, Tapes 1 and 2
Author(s): S E Samenow
Date Published: Unknown
Format: Film
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The member of a clinical psychology research team discusses the evolution of their confrontational approach to mentally ill, legally incompetent offenders and the study's implications for understanding the criminal mentality and for achieving behavior modification.
Abstract: Dr. Yochelson, author of 'The Psychotic Personality,' began this research in 1961 and was joined by the speaker about a decade later. For over 10 years, they worked with only 255 subjects, but devoted between 10 and 8,000 hours to each individual. After many years of traditional psychotherapeutic sessions held to learn the causes of criminality, they realized that the subjects were manipulating the therapeutic situation in the same manner in which they had perpetuated their criminal careers in other settings (from the family onwards). The scientists concluded that none of their patients was truly mentally ill and that psychotherapy served only to provide sophisticated excuses for criminal behavior rather than offering a means for overcoming criminality. The research was then redirected away from causality to the identification of specific criminal thought patterns. They identified 52 patterns related to motivations such as anger and power. Criminals' lying, ability to arrest fear in the course of committing a crime, and narrow, self-oriented, pragmatic conceptions of love, understanding, and personal worth set them apart from noncriminals. They view themselves as superior and justified in their abuse of others. The scientists developed a treatment methodology for offender behavior modification of criminals that begins with a novel, confrontational approach. The therapists attempt to convince offenders that their manipulative and abusive behavior has been detected and is therefore ineffective. Criminals are told that their crimes must cease and are given the choice to embark upon a program that will bring their thinking patterns closer to the moral standards held by the rest of society.
Index Term(s): Behavior modification; Behavior patterns; Criminally insane persons; Deviance; Mentally ill offenders; Personality assessment; Psychological theories
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS. 2 videotapes, total running time 96 minutes, color, 1 inch.
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